One of the oldest lumber yards in the state of Iowa, Dick-n-Sons Lumber has a rich history of serving the community’s needs. The local Do it Best Corp. member business offers high-quality home improvement products, plus a convenient one-stop shopping experience. While the business serves local homeowners and homebuilders, the family behind Dick-n-Sons Lumber works to support a somewhat different population – homeless and disadvantaged military veterans.
Located in Davenport, Iowa, the Quad Cities Veterans Outreach Center provides a food pantry, haircuts, health care checkups, veterinary services and other programs for local veterans. It’s largely the work of Lola VanDeWalle, owner of Dick-n-Sons Lumber. VanDeWalle dedicates her work for veterans and the new outreach center to her family’s legacy.
“The center opened in 2016 in memory of my father, who fought in World War II at the age of 17, like many others,” VanDeWalle says. “He was wounded twice and received the Purple Heart.”
Emerson “Ted” Walters, VanDeWalle’s father, was stationed in the Guam Islands during WWII. Following the war, he continued to serve in the military, spending time in both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. In honoring her father’s service, VanDeWalle also provides a much-needed service for the community.
“Our center has grown to serve hundreds of veterans daily and monthly,” VanDeWalle says. With the help of volunteers from the local American Legion, the center recently expanded to provide more services, in response to the growing need from the local veteran community.
Through the Quad Cities Veterans Outreach Center, VanDeWalle’s family history inspires her to leave an important impact on the community. As a local business owner, VanDeWalle stays in tune with the community’s needs and wants. As the daughter of a WWII veteran, she understands the commitment that veterans have made to the country and the unique challenges they may face as a result. By blending these roles, she works to honor her family and support her community. For more information on the Quad Cities Veterans Outreach Center, visit www.qcvetsoutreach.com.
This story is part of our ongoing ‘Local Memories, Lasting Impact’ series that highlights small, locally owned businesses and the differences they make in their communities.